If you plan to rent a vehicle for work, errands, or travel, it’s important to consider your insurance status before you sign any contracts. A good question to ask in regards to rental car insurance: am I covered by my auto policy? At Affordable Insurance, we can answer questions like this to help you understand all of your options so that you have the right coverage and peace of mind.
Holding a personal auto policy does not automatically mean you’re covered for all risks related to rental cars. Always double-check your policy paperwork or talk with your provider for clarification.
When Renting a Vehicle
In the fine print of your rental car contract, you will find responsibilities and exclusions details. These usually include notes on covering the cost of property damage or injuries to other people when caused by your use of the rental car. Also reviewed is damage to the rental car from collisions, vandalism, fire, theft, etc. (whether you are at fault or not). Additionally, they may address any losses incurred by the rental agency if the car you rent needs to be repaired and is, therefore, unavailable to rent for a period.
As you can imagine, there is an enormous potential for significant financial burden should any of these things happen. It is essential for you to be covered by insurance, whether that means purchasing the rental company’s insurance, relying on your existing policy, or taking out an independent policy with your insurer for the rental car.
In which situations can you not rely on your auto insurance policy?
- If you do not have a current car insurance policy, you could check to see if your credit card offers insurance for rental cars. Otherwise, you can purchase the insurance or waiver provided by the rental company.
- If you are renting the vehicle outside of your state, you should check with your insurance provider about variations in state laws. Your particular car insurance policies may or may not function in other states.
- If you are renting a vehicle abroad, your US auto insurance policy will not apply, with the possible exception of Canada. In this case, stick with the insurance option offered by the rental agency in that country.
Finally, it’s important to note that standard auto insurance policies only cover you for personal use of a rental vehicle, not for business use. This means that renting a car for a vacation, or while yours is being repaired, or renting a moving truck to relocate your belongings from one home to another is ok, but renting a vehicle for work-related purposes is not.
If after consulting your auto insurance provider, like Affordable Insurance, you realize that you do not have coverage for the use of a rental car, what are your options? As mentioned above, check with your credit card company, as many offer rental car insurance. Consider buying a standalone policy from your current insurance company or a company specializing in rental car coverage.
Lastly, you can pay extra to the rental car agency for a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW). This exemption guarantees that the company will not hold you financially responsible in the case of vehicle damage. If you choose this, be aware that in the event of injury to yourself, you will need to rely on personal health insurance. Liability insurance may also be offered by the rental agency and is a wise investment if you do not have coverage on your auto policy.
When it comes to answering the question, rental car insurance, am I covered by my auto policy, just get in touch with the helpful team at Affordable Insurance for all the answers. We will help you understand the responsibilities of signing up for or declining rental car insurance, as well as provide the coverage options you need to ensure you’re covered no matter what you drive.